Ideal Dental Care

Post-Operative Instructions Following Tooth Extraction and Surgery

Immediate instructions

  • Apply direct pressure to the site, by firmly biting on a folded gauze pad, as a way of controlling the initial bleeding. Change the gauze every 45 minutes until the bleeding stops.
  • You may have difficulty feeling your lips, cheeks, or tongue due to numbness. This is a temporary feeling and will wear off within 2 to 6 hours. Please take care not to bite your lips, cheeks, or tongue.
  • Apply ice packs on the side of your face where surgery was performed.
  • Restrict your activities on the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.

General Instructions

  • Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the affected area following surgery should be avoided. Do not rinse your mouth for the first postoperative day or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use warm salt water to rinse every 4 hours and after meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the area.
  • Do not use a straw for drinking liquids or and do not spit for 3 days following surgery.
  • Do not smoke for at least 3 days following surgery. The longer you avoid smoking, the better your healing will progress.
  • Take your prescribed pain medication as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. This will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming less effective.
  • A soft diet for the first few days after extraction will help to minimize irritation to the site. Also, drink plenty of fluids for the first few days.
  • Avoid having extremely hot food for the first few days as it may cause the bleeding to start again.
  • You may be asked to return to our office for a post-operative follow-up visit following surgery. There is no additional charge for this follow-up visit. Please make every effort to return to have your surgical sites examined for proper healing.
  • Following extractions, some bleeding is expected. It is normal for the saliva to be slightly stained with blood for 1 to 2 days. If persistent bleeding occurs, place moist gauze pads over the bleeding area and bite down firmly for one and a half hours. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding still persists, contact the dentist.
  • Some swelling is normal and should not cause alarm. An ice bag or ice cubes wrapped in a towel should be applied on the operated side of the face, one-half hour on and one-half hour off for 4 to 5 hours.
  • Do not brush your teeth in the immediate area of the extraction for the first 24 hours. Then, be a little gentle for the first few days to avoid trauma to the area. Of course, it’s very important to brush and floss normally everywhere else and keep your mouth as clean as possible.